Chinese New Year (“CNY”) brings back lots of fond memory from childhood. I remember the excitement on the eve of the new year day, looking forward to the new year to come, listening to the occasional sound of firecrackers, wearing new clothes and collecting laisee packets, eating lots of sweets and good food, visiting family friends and relatives from home to home.
Family reunion is a key feature in CNY celebrations. We have always made the effort to visit close relatives and family friends around the new year time to renew our friendship and use the occasion to bless one another with new year greetings and gifts. Even though we may not see each other often during the year, we make the effort to visit each other. These visits are precious and breakdown barriers. CNY is a time for us to stop and think about relationships. These are good traditions that I would like to pass on to our children and grandchildren. I also want them to understand why these traditions are important to us.
Another key aspect of Chinese New Year is to get rid of the old and welcome in the new. The atmosphere around CNY is filled with a sense of blossoming, new beginning and renewal. Discarding the old and replacing with the new is very prevalent in the new year season. This reminds me of what the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:22-24, “You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” CNY reminds us to stop and pray, seeking “to be renewed in the spirit of our minds” and to be clothed with the newly transformed self.
Jesus will be very much at home with us when we celebrate CNY together. He will not be just a welcomed guest but part of the family. He wants us to renew friendships, restore relationships, and to be reconciled to one another, for this is a reason why he came to earth. Why not pray for someone who God puts on your heart, even though we can’t visit one another during COVID time. This is the spirit of CNY and we celebrate and rejoice because in the Kingdom of God we have family union with Him and with one another.